PHOENIX SUNS

Suns’ Dragan Bender posts career-high 15 points in loss to Lakers

Nov 13, 2017, 10:19 PM | Updated: 10:46 pm
Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender, right, drives past Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bogut (66) ...

Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender, right, drives past Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bogut (66) to score during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, in Phoenix. The Lakers won 100-93. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

No matter how well Phoenix Suns power forward Dragan Bender is playing defensively, he needs to put together his offensive game at some point.

Suns fans got a sneak preview of what that could look like down the line for the 19-year-old in the team’s 100-93 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Bender scored a career-high 15 points, using some impressive moves in the fourth quarter to reach the high mark.

One came via the post, where Bender has shown he needs to be more effective in taking advantage of mismatches.

Instead of backing down Lakers swingman Corey Brewer, though, Bender showed off a pretty fade-away jumper on the sideline in the form of LaMarcus Aldridge.

Later in the quarter, Bender showed what he can do once defenses respect his three-point shot and make him put the ball on the floor.

Using his quickness, Bender flew by Brewer, and with Lakers center Andrew Bogut coming to protect the rim, he rose and finished with the left hand to avoid the contest.

After taking a rough fall in the second half, he had his right wrist taped up. Bender said after the game it was a little sore and should be fine the following day.

Bender’s struggles offensively have been evident. He entered the game shooting 37 percent from the field and 33 percent from deep. If Phoenix continues to see signs of growth like they did earlier in the season and on Monday night, though, the numbers in the past won’t matter as much as the Croatian grows into a legitimate player on both ends.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns dunks against the Atlanta Hawks in the first half at State Fa...
Arizona Sports

ESPN’s Pelton: NBA Draft potentially removed RFA Deandre Ayton suitor

Analyst Kevin Pelton included Ayton's future on a list of impactful decisions this summer, noting Detroit may no longer fit after the draft.
22 hours ago
A basketball on the court during the game between the Washington Wizards and the Phoenix Suns at Ca...
Arizona Sports

Suns’ Ryan Resch becomes first openly gay basketball operations executive in NBA history

Ryan Resch, the Suns VP of basketball strategy and evaluation, became the first openly gay basketball operations executive in NBA history. 
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14)...
Kevin Zimmerman

Deandre Ayton still Suns’ priority, says GM: ‘We want to keep it together’

Suns general manager James Jones said nothing has changed on the Deandre Ayton front over the past several weeks, from his seat at least.
3 days ago
General manager, James Jones of the Phoenix Suns before Game One of the Western Conference Second R...
Kellan Olson

GM James Jones clarifies ESPN article on Phoenix Suns’ draft strategy

Suns GM James Jones clarified an ESPN article that painted a detailed picture of the team's unorthodox practices in the NBA Draft.
3 days ago
NBA draft prospects pose for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, center, before the start of...
Kevin Zimmerman

NBA Draft live blog: Pistons deal for C Jalen Duren in trade-heavy night

Visit ArizonaSports.com for Phoenix Suns coverage as they stand pat without a draft pick or move into the Thursday action.
3 days ago
Tari Eason poses for photos on the red carpet during the 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June ...
Kevin Zimmerman

Paolo Banchero steals the show on 2022 NBA Draft red carpet

May all the green room invitees at the 2022 NBA Draft have as colorful of careers as they do draft-day getups.
3 days ago
Suns’ Dragan Bender posts career-high 15 points in loss to Lakers